sleeping together | Learning and Unlearning

During the first few sleep-sparse weeks together, you tell yourself that you prefer to sleep alone.

Something is always off.

You swap roles of “too hot,” and “too cold.” You startle each other awake with the slightest touch. The blanket’s indecision of who to cover most drives each of you mad.

But none of this is permanent.

With practice, your preference for an unshared space is replaced by the fondness for his familiar frame beside you.

The temperatures of your bodies harmonize. You sleep more sound with your limbs intertwined. Even the blanket seems to have learned the lesson of compromise.

What started as a slow and bumpy relay through the night turns into an effortless sprint to sunrise.

But this is temporary, too.

Now you stack both pillows beneath your own head and crack the window without regard to his chill. You check your phone one last time and too-tightly wrap yourself in every square inch of the blanket.

You finally have the freedom to roam about the entirety of your mattress but you don’t move.

You lay still.

You’re afraid to stretch your arms or torque your spine toward the empty side of the bed because then you will be forced to recognize it as that.


During the first few sleep-sparse weeks alone, you tell yourself that you once preferred it this way.

Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this piece, you might also like:

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.